President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 9, 2010
WORKER’S COMP REFORM BILL PASSES SENATE TODAY
Coffee: “Major Step” Toward Reforming System,
Improving State’s Business Climate
compensation system took a major step toward reform today with the
passage of SB 1973, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn
SB 1973, the comprehensive worker’s compensation reform bill
passed the Senate today. .
A review of SB 1973’s reforms includes:
• Decreases the number of Worker’s Comp Court judges
from 10 to 8;
• Increases terms of judges from six years to eight years,
limiting to one term;
• Qualifies current judges for reappointment to one eight-year
• Creates and defines the position of Medical Director”
of the Worker’s Comp Court;
• Defines “major cause”:
• Exempts employers from liability for injuries arising outside
the course of employment.
And many other provisions.
“These reforms are vital to ensuring the economic viability
of Oklahoma business – both large and small,” Coffee
said. “With the reforms outlined in this legislation, Oklahoma’s
Worker’s Compensation system will be more fair, equitable
and efficient,” said Coffee.
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen claims reduced statewide,
but awards have increased exponentially, causing unreasonable hardships
on employers and workers both.
“This bill is the product of hours of discussions with all
stake holders in this issue, from business to the medical and legal
communities,” Coffee added. “Business owners are reluctant
to open new business or expand existing in our state, due the costs
of doing business.
“This reform will be a big step
toward making Oklahoma more business-friendly, while protecting
the rights of injured workers,” Coffee concluded.
For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee: 405-521-5636